Monday, January 02, 2006

Here's the full list of 46 (out of 50) books for 2005.

1. If They Move... Kill 'Em!: The Life and Times of Sam Peckinpah - David Weddle

2. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell - Susanna Clarke

3. Ina May's Guide To Childbirth - Ina May Gaskin

4. Peckinpah: The Western Films - A Reconsideration - Paul Seydor

5. The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society (33 1/3) - Andy Miller

6. Hick Flicks - Scott Von Doviak

7. The Strange Death of American Liberalism - H.W. Brands

8. The Sweet Forever - George Pelecanos

9. Little Children - Tom Perrotta

10. Gilead - Marilynne Robinson

11. Men and Cartoons: Stories - Jonathan Lethem

12. Bee Season - Myla Goldberg

13. On Bullshit - Harry G. Frankfurt

14. Mediated - Thomas De Zengotita

15. Housekeeping - Marilynne Robinson

16. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle - Haruki Murakami

17. The Disappointment Artist - Jonathan Lethem

18. Blink - Malcolm Gladwell

19. Everything Is Illuminated - Jonathan Safran Foer

20. McSweeney's Quarterly Concern No. 13 - Chris Ware, editor

21. Sophie's World - Jostein Gaarder

22. Country: The Twisted Roots of Rock & Roll - Nick Tosches

23. The Men Who Stare At Goats - Jon Ronson

24. The Confidence-Man - Herman Melville

25. The Man Who Was Thursday - G.K. Chesterton

26. Where Dead Voices Gather - Nick Tosches

27. Arthur Lee: Alone Again Or - Barney Hoskins

28. Portnoy's Complaint - Philip Roth

29. The Elementary Particles - Michel Houellebecq

30. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain

31. Thelonious Monk: His Life and Music - Thomas Fetterling

32. Kafka On The Shore - Haruki Murakami

33. Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel - Rebecca Goldstein

34. The Preservationist - David Maine

35. Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro

36. A Slight Trick of the Mind - Mitch Cullin

37. The Wild Palms - William Faulkner

38. The Maltese Falcon - Dashiell Hammett

39. Red Harvest - Dashiell Hammett

40. The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett

41. The Final Solution - Michael Chabon

42. In The Aeroplane Over The Sea - Kim Cooper

43. Norwegian Wood - Haruki Murakami

44. Master and Commander - Patrick O'Brian

45. The Turn Of The Screw and Other Stories - Henry James

46. Fallen - David Maine

I intend to read 50 in 2006, so I'll continue to use this format.

In the meantime, to make up for the four books I did not read, here's some children's books that Li'l Sphere and I enjoy.

Come Out And Play, Little Mouse by Robert Kraus, illustrations by Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey.

This is my son's favorite book. He loves the wonderful cat illustrations throughout. The story itself doesn't make too much sense: the cat attempts for a week to get a mouse to come play with him. On Saturday, the mouse's little brother steps out of the mousehole to play and is chased by the cat into some winding hills. Just as the cat is about to pounce, a dog shows up and beats the cat up. The cat runs off, and the dog reveals itself to be the mouse in disguise. On the final day, the cat again attempts to get the mice to come out and play, but they are busy playing with their family. The moral appears to be: don't play with predators, and if you do, dress up as an even tougher predator and then decline to play because your family is more important. Or something like that.

Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus by Mo Williams

This is my favorite one. A pigeon dreams of driving a bus. The bus driver has to run some errands and asks the reader to watch the bus for him and, especially, to keep the pigeon from driving it. The pigeon asks, begs, and attempts to trick the reader into letting him drive the bus. When he is foiled, he dreams of driving a truck. That's it. It's funny as heck, but a bit over my son's head at this point. Maybe when he's two, he'll like it better.

Fuzzy Fuzzy Fuzzy! by Sandra Boynton

This one is more my son's speed. There's a fuzzy-nosed cow, a dog with a rough patch on his paw, a smooth-nosed pig, a turkey with a bumpy waddle, a soft-bellied duck, and two chicks, one grumpy and one happy, who answer differently about whether they wish to start over with the fuzzy fuzzy guy. The cow, dog, and duck are a-ok according to Li'l Sphere, but the pig is just plain boring.

So Big! by Anna Jane Hays, illustrations by Christopher Moroney

My son loves Elmo. Those of you who are around my age and childless may be surprised to learn that Elmo's World takes up almost half of Sesame Street these days. It's no wonder, for as annoying as Elmo is with his screechy voice and constant referral to himself in the third person, I have yet to meet a kid who doesn't love him more than bananas. In this book, Baby Elmo reaches high and low, drinks and eats, stands, demonstrates early syllabic proficiency, points to his nose and hand, shakes a rattle, plays peekaboo, waves goodbye, and pops-up at the end to show just how big he is, which never fails to elicit a smile from Li'l Sphere. It's infinitely better than Barney.


Alyssa 6:54 PM, January 02, 2006  

All those books and you had a peanut - wow....

Well done!

And by the way - what is up with Elmo? I think the Elmo people and the McDonald's people have some kind of special crazy baby crack they use on kids...

Hayden Childs 11:50 PM, January 02, 2006  

Yeah, that's definitely baby crack in Elmo. And thanks! I hope next year to actually meet my goal.

Indeterminacy 6:44 AM, January 04, 2006  

I enjoyed your list - interesting that I've only read one of the authors you've read: Mark Twain. But there were some familiar names I've wanted to read for a while.

One of the biggests mistakes I made was in the seventies, to not keep a diary of the books I've read. I just never started keeping track. :-(

Hayden Childs 11:36 AM, January 04, 2006  

I hear you on not keeping a list. Several times, I've started a book only to realize I'd read it years before. But it's generally no big deal.

Glad you enjoyed the list. I'm going to keep this up because a) it's fun and b) I get to bloviate ignorantly about intellectual matters like a pundit (except with books).

Sam 10:54 AM, January 06, 2006  

The rest of Pelecanos is as good-you should add some more of his to your 2006 list

Hayden Childs 1:36 PM, January 06, 2006  

Thanks, Sam. I'll definitely do so.

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